4 Best Restaurants in Nicosia, Cyprus

Zanettos

$$$ Fodor's choice

A classic meze tavern, which opened in 1938, Zanettos is tucked into a side street in Nicosia's atmospheric Old City and filled with a mix of tourists and old-timers. With no menu the restaurant dishes up plate after plate of fresh and tasty food for a low, fixed price. Pictures of Cypriot celebrities embracing the chef and his son stare down at you from the walls as you devour super-fresh salads, salty halloumi cheese, and tangy olives; hearty veggies like beets, potatoes, and mushrooms; tender meat dishes such as chicken kebabs and veal; and even succulent snails. Be sure to save room for dessert: Lebanese mahalembi, a unique rose-flavored creamy concoction.

Matthaios

$

If you're looking for a simple, inexpensive meal with pretty views and friendly service, you can't do much better than Matthaios, a tiny family-run lunch-only spot near Faneromeni Church. Relax in the square at one of their five or six tables or inside if the weather is poor, and choose from a short menu of fresh offerings that may include a vegetable plate (white beans, celery, parsley, potatoes, zucchini, and onion, or whatever is available) or tender lamb served with okra and spinach. The smiling family owners will bring you a complimentary dessert of the day as a final treat. Though tourists have definitely discovered Mattheos, it still remains a respite of calm within the often-frenetic Old City.

28 Oktovriou Sq. 6, Nicosia, 2574, Cyprus
22-755846
Known For
  • Fresh, home-style cooking
  • Inexpensive prices
  • Quaint location in Old Nicosia
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: Closed Sun. No dinner

Plaka Tavern

$$

One of the oldest eating establishments in the city, in the heart of Engomi, offers up to 30 different meze dishes, including such unusual items as snails and okra with tomatoes. From humble beginnings in 1970 as a kebab house, it has grown into one of Nicosia's favorite tavernas.

Archiepiskopou Makariou III Sq. 6–8, Nicosia, 2407, Cyprus
22-352898
Known For
  • Delicious traditional Cypriot meze
  • Relaxed and friendly atmosphere
  • Great live music
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: Closed Sun. and Mon.

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Tutto Il Giorno Romantica

$$$

The fare is Italian at this well-regarded and distinctly friendly spot, and those who dine here will also find no shortage of advice available on any topic relating to Cyprus. Choose from an extensive selection of pasta, fish, and meat dishes, and enjoy service in the lush courtyard outside in nice weather (which is most of the time in Cyprus). Complimentary antipasti such as proscuitto and vegetables are offered every day from 6 to 8 pm when you order wine or a cocktail. It's open from 12 pm until late for drinks.